Chef and partner want Toronto to lead the world in digitally native restaurants
The next generation of restaurants is here, and they may take some getting used to.
In response to tumultuous times, Chef Andrew Moore – who has worked at some of the best restaurants in Toronto and the UK – including Momofuku and The Fat Duck – has teamed up with an entrepreneur who hopes to make what he calls "digitally native restaurants" the next big thing, first in Toronto, and then the world.
The digitally native, delivery-only, or "delivery brand" restaurants as Moore calls them – which may all just be different words for ghost kitchens – now live under the Hover brand and operate out of a kitchen rented from an existing restaurant (that didn't wish to be named) at King and Blue Jays Way.
They use the standard delivery apps to get your food to you.
Good Burgers was launched six weeks ago, and they've been launching a new concept every two weeks since.
Lee, a 2013 UBC grad who spent a year doing leveraged buy-outs in LA before moving to Toronto, defines their restaurants as "a new generation of brands born on the internet that are content and community driven."
Lee says they're comparable to businesses you might see launching solely on Instagram. "Brands launch online before going full-scale brick-and-mortar."
"To us, it's super important that customers have as good of an experience at home as in a traditional restaurant," Lee says.
"When delivery is done right and brands are attentive to customer needs, the meal represents much more than convenience."
Dolores does tacos, Good Burger does smash burgers, Sunday Chicken does brined buttermilk fried chicken, and Breakfast Club is an all-day breakfast restaurant serving pancakes as well as breakfast sammies and burritos.
They have additional delivery-only restaurants in the works that should be open in the next two months, but they're keeping the names and concepts secret for now.
They're also working on finding additional brick-and-mortar sites for pickup and delivery, which they're hoping will be operational later this year.
"We've seen all sorts of changes from food halls to bodegas to hyper-local brand collaborations, pop-ups and digital storefronts," Lee says.
"Expect the definition of a restaurant or local shop to continue to expand."
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